“We are different and united.
In the opening number of Miss Gay Missouri America 2017, Regina La-Rae reminded us that it’s okay to be different, encouraged us to show our vulnerability, and to embrace the uniqueness of our story.
Looking back on the weekend, I began to think about the different journeys each of us has taken through the Miss Gay Missouri America System. My personal story began in 2003, as a backup dancer for MGMA 2002, Erica Leigh Foster, and soon-to-be MGMA 2003, Ali Kat. After three consecutive years as a backup dancer, I decided to compete in 2007. As the 1st Alternate to Miss Gay Shining Star, I borrowed basically everything I could get my hands on, and was delighted, and surprised, to find myself named 4th Alternate to MGMA 2007.
The following year I earned my very first title when I was crowned Miss Gay St. Louis America 2008. This year I told myself that I was going to return to Miss Gay Missouri America and I was going to do it to the best of my ability. I saved every dollar I could and focused on building a competition package that I was proud of and that was genuinely mine. Finishing as 1st Alternate to MGMA 2008, I was on my way to compete at Miss Gay America! I finished 17th at MGA that year, had the time of my life, and made many friends. The friendships we create during competition really do have the potential to last a lifetime.
In 2009, I was busy fulfilling obligations outside of the Miss Gay Missouri America system, but by March 2010, I had qualified as Miss Gay Metropolitan and I was back in the game. A photo in the Top 5 was not in the cards for me this year, but there is always a lesson to be learned. I graduated with my degree in Interpreting that June, and shifted my focus to building a successful career. Relocations to Columbus, Ohio and New York City kept pageantry on hold, but provided me with opportunities to gain life experiences and better understand who I was as both an entertainer and an individual. In the Fall of 2016, I moved back to St. Louis, and realized that my yearning to become MGMA had never waned.
“Your dream doesn’t have an expiration date.”
It took four attempts, and ten years, for me to hear my name announced as Miss Gay Missouri America. I share this to encourage you to focus on writing your own story, one page at a time. Don’t try to compare yourself or your journey to anyone else’s. Live every moment and learn every moment.
In a recent alumni newsletter, Sparkle Iman, MGMA 2008, mentioned how Miss Gay America, Suzy Wong, has partnered with other national titleholders to promote #UNITY throughout our community. I hope that we can follow their lead here in Missouri and continue to strengthen our own local communities. During onstage question this year, I spoke about the growth that I believe can be garnered through competition and observation of multiple pageantry systems. I’m overjoyed to see my friend, Miss Gay Metropolitan America promoter, and MGMA alumnus, Adria Andrews, taking the opportunity to challenge herself with a new venture this year as she serves as Miss Gay Missouri USofA 2017. Please take a moment to send her messages of positivity as she heads off May 23-26, 2017 to compete for Miss Gay USofA in Dallas, Texas.
Adria and I got the opportunity to take our first trip as MGMA and MGMUSofA together when we headed off to Columbus, Ohio, from April 14-16, to participate in Mr. and Miss Gay Ohio. We had a great weekend working with some accomplished and talented entertainers, like Mokha Montrese, Michael LaMasters, Mary Nolan, and Britney Blaire. Congratulations to Matthew Allen Meade and Ava Aurora Foxx on your achieving your goals.
I’m excited to share that most of the preliminaries for the 2017/2018 competition have been scheduled! Our first two opportunities to qualify for MGMA 2018 take place this July. It is never too early to begin your pageant preparations and both of these preliminaries will provide you with plenty of time to bring your ultimate competition package to life. Check out www.MGMPageantry.com for more information.
Miss Gay River City America
July 1, 2017
Promoter: Jade Sinclair
Miss Gay Show Me Pride America
“A Gatsby Affair”
July 22, 2017
Promoters: Kyla Breeze and Mulan
Even today, as I write this newsletter, I’m not certain that the reality of the situation has completely sunk in. I am certain, however, that I would not be writing this today if I did not have the support system that was there for me every step of the way. In my Male Interview, when I was asked to describe my support system, I was so overcome with emotion that the only answer I could give was “Never-ending”. Thank you for sharing in my dream and being by my side through it all. The journey has only begun.
This is OUR Story.
FROM THE BOARD:
We have successfully completed another wonderful year for Miss Gay Missouri America! Our success is due to the passion and drive of so many that pour their heart and soul into everything they do. The chosen family of MGMA is a special one that will last for lifetimes and we are forever grateful for everyone who dedicated their time to ensure Miss Gay Missouri 2017 was a hit!
Congratulations to Tabbi Katt on capturing the title of Miss Gay Missouri America 2017. I’ve always known the name Tabbi Katt but it wasn’t until Miss Gay St. Louis America that I finally had the chance to work with her. Our moment on stage was one of my favorites throughout my entire reign, I knew that she would be someone I would someday call a sister and couldn’t be happier for her. I know that she will have a fantastic year. Enjoy every moment of your year Tabbi, you deserve it!
To the 21 other contestants, do not give up do not give into self-doubt. It took me four tries to win MGMA and it was all well worth the wait. They always say you win when it’s your time, so trust me when I say the time is coming for each and every one of you. Take everything you learned this year and apply it to next year and come back even stronger! “You cannot know true success without knowing the beauty of failure!”
I am excited to join the board as a forever! They work hard every year to bring Miss Gay Missouri to life. I am happy to have the chance to add my knowledge to the board of MGMA to help it continue our legacy for another 40 years more! This year’s preliminary roster is already looking fantastic with lots of great themes. I can’t wait to see what comes of Miss Gay Missouri 2017!
Check MGMPageantry.com for all your pageant Needs.
Miss Gay Missouri America 2016
MGMA Alumni Board